Opening Keynote Address Speaker

ZHANG Longxi, City University of Hong Kong  

Thursday, March 16, 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Asian Studies, Interdisciplinarity, and Comparative Work


In today’s global interconnectedness, no one can overlook the significance of Asia for the West and the other parts of the world, and this is the result of many changes that have taken place over several decades in the recent past. In this lecture, the speaker will briefly discuss several important works that have contributed to our understanding of the interrelations between Asia and Europe, East and West, and then will comment on the interdisciplinary nature of Asian Studies and the importance of a comparative perspective in understanding different cultures in both their similarities and their differences. Asian Studies, he will argue, provides an excellent forum for the discussion of human diversity as well as what binds humanity together despite linguistic, cultural, historical, social, and political differences. As scholars in Asian Studies and as comparatists, we are witnessing some significant changes in our world today, and we should face the challenges and contribute to a better and more peaceful way of living in our world for all humanity.


BIOGRAPHY:  ZHANG Longxi holds an MA in English from Peking University and a Ph. D. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University. He had taught at Peking, Harvard, and the University of California, Riverside, and is currently Chair Professor of Comparative Literature and Translation at the City University of Hong Kong. He was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities in 2009 and a foreign member of Academia Europaea in 2013. He is elected President of the International Comparative Literature Association for 2016-19. He serves as an Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of World Literature and an Advisory Editor of New Literary History. He has published more than 20 books and numerous articles in both English and Chinese in East-West comparative studies. His major English book publications include The Tao and the Logos: Literary Hermeneutics, East and West (Durham: Duke UP, 1992); Mighty Opposites: From Dichotomies to Differences in the Comparative Study of China (Stanford: Stanford UP, 1998); Allegoresis: Reading Canonical Literature East and West (Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2005); Unexpected Affinities: Reading across Cultures (Toronto: Toronto UP, 2007); and most recently, From Comparison to World Literature (SUNY Press, 2015).

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